Monday, June 22, 2009

I miss my sis.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's not you, it's me...

I’ve hit a period of malaise and it’s lasted longer than I thought it would. April is the anniversary month of Josh’s diagnosis. It seems that I slow down every April. It was such a time of helplessness and uncertainty. It was the beginning of the end of what was, up to that point, the best part of my life.

Spring comes and I seem to hit an icy patch. Not that I don’t have fun or neglect the most important things in my life. But I tend to drop a lot of extras and let a lot of projects slide.

I regret not blogging in a while because, in my head, I’ve had a lot to talk about.

So, I’m going to try to play catch-up.

Here is a quick synopsis of April:

It started with tubes for Danny’s ears. It was an emotional event because Danny’s surgery was scheduled just days before the anniversary of Josh’s diagnosis. I sat in a sedation room much like the one I sat in with Josh countless times holding him until he was completely under. I never got over the powerful feeling of seeing my child become completely lifeless in a matter f seconds. I never had a worry about Danny’s safety because I knew the doctors and this hospital well. But holding little Danny and looking into his trusting eyes just before he went under the anesthesia took me back to a place I wasn’t prepared to go. The photo is of the Child Life Specialist working with Danny before the operation to get him comfortable with the mask. He looks so vulnerable in his little hospital jammies.

On Easter Sunday, I took a brighter trip down memory lane when Gracie wore a dress my mother made for me over forty years ago. Danny looked pretty dapper, to in his little boy outfit. Here’s an attempt at a family photo …what can you do…

We celebrated Gordon’s birthday by heading about two hours out of town to spend a couple days in Lake City. We visited the coolest toy store ever and rode their hand carved carousel. We introduced the kids to mini-golf at their little course. Gracie loved the water and Danny never let go of his ball. He very seriously put it into each hole and quickly retrieved it. The next day, we visited the Eagle Center and spent time with some beautiful bald eagles who are unable to survive in the wild. We learned that an eagle can spot a mouse in the grass two football fields away. When we told Gracie that it is forbidden to take Bald Eagle feathers, she very seriously gathered the downy feathers in the aviary and gave them back to the eagles.

We spent time on the water and watched the sun rise over the lake each morning. A stop at “Flat Pennies” Ice Cream and we were on our way home.

A sweet friendship is developing between Danny and Gracie. I love watching them play. Here are a few pictures of the two of them being baby birds in their nests.

On April 23, Danny became a legal member of our family. I assumed the court hearing would be a formality: a legal maneuver to check off the list. However, when Gordon and I had to raise our right hands and swear to care for and love our boy with all our hearts and give him best opportunities in life I almost lost it. As parents, we rarely state out loud the commitment we make to our children for the rest of our lives. To actually state these words for all the world to hear was an incredibly moving experience. Naturally, we celebrated in grand family tradition by heading to our neighborhood bakery and indulging ourselves!

April can’t go by without a few showers and since we’re in the middle of a drought, we had to make our own showers. There’s no one better than a kid to get soaked in style.

And on that note, I’m only a month behind and 25 minutes past my bed time. I’ll leave you with one last shot brought to you by PBS Kids. After watching an episode of Curious George in which he makes a spider web out of string and tape, Gracie endeavored to do the same. I think her result is pretty impressive. She even caught a real live ant. If you look closely you can see where all my missing spatulas have gone.

Oh wait! I have one last photo for April: my two sweet puppies lapping up water from their doggie dishes!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


It's been awhile, but I've been busy. At least I can cross one thing off the list: my bathroom shower project is finally finished. I think it's OK for a first try...


The truth is that we have a new pet and it's HUGE - we spend all our time feeding it!



Friday, March 20, 2009

Memory lane...

Our pediatrician's office called today. The big corporate conglomerate HMO building including the Ped's waiting room is being remodelled. They're looking for some pictures for the new space. When Gracie was born I started a tradition of taking a picture of her with our favorite pediatrician at each landmark visit. The office asked if I'd send them the pictures for possible display. I had fun taking a trip down memory lane gathering these together. I thought you might enjoy them, too.

Gracie - 1 week

Gracie - three months

Gracie - six months

Gracie - nine months

Gracie - One Year

Gracie - Fifteen Months

Gracie - Two Years


Gracie - Three Years

Danny - One Year

Danny - Eighteen Months

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The State of the Union...

For all enquiring minds: yes we are still married. Fortunately hair does grow back and with a little tapering, a little mascara, one can hardly tell the carnage that occurred last week.

I must say that the increased readership of my blog, the number of comments and e-mails seemed like a bit of an undeserved reward. While I truly feel bad about wrecking Gordon’s hair, the attention I received has me pondering what royal screw-up I could broadcast next with similar results. But rest assured there will be no malice aforethought. I am perfectly capable of making unplanned mistakes on a regular basis.

As Gordon joked, his ordeal was actually a public service. It appears that quite a few spouses (mostly wives) cut their significant other’s hair. Many dread just the mistake I made and one couple has actually implemented precautionary measures. These steps, which bear repeating, are to have the cuttee oil the blades and affix the proper blade attachment. Then and only then does the cutter begin the haircut.

The State of the Family

Aside from battling colds which were no doubt picked up on our little get-away to the Wisconsin Dells, we’re doing well.

We took a trip after a great visit with the International Adoption Clinic. The Doctor was very impressed with Danny’s new found shyness. During the previous visit three months ago Danny was approaching all the doctors in the room and engaging them. This time as soon as the team entered the exam room Danny crawled into my lap and hugged me like a baby koala bear. He peered cautiously at the newcomers and never let go of me. Our doctor declared him a changed kid.

This change has only occurred recently. I’d say that over the last couple of months Danny has begun to relate to us as his family. He no longer seems to be shopping for a new family. Mind you this does not mean that he doesn’t engage others. He knows how to play the cute card and as long as someone keeps his or her distance Danny will flirt shamelessly. But when someone he doesn’t know approaches him he looks at them like they’re crazy and without taking his eyes off of them, he slowly backs up toward Gordon or my legs and hangs on tight.
We have gone almost nowhere during our first six months as a family. We’ve clung religiously to our routine. Finally during our visit to the clinic we were given the green light to stretch our wings.

So we got outta Dodge. We packed up and headed to the Great Wolf Lodge for some water fun and relaxation. We all had a blast. On our doctor’s recommendation we still adhered rigidly to our schedule and took along familiar food and books. I think this paid off. Danny was relaxed during our entire trip. I was worried that staying in a hotel and sleeping in a pack-n-play like he did in Guatemala might make him anxious. But he was just fine.

State of the State

Our part of the world is slowly thawing out. This past week the kids headed out in the puddles for some fresh air. We weren’t outside long as the water was freezing and the cold went right through our puddle boots. But spring is in the air – sort of anyway.

Monday, March 2, 2009

My Bad...

OK – you’re going to see this coming as soon as I start to tell the story. I’ll begin by saying that I’ve tried to spin this numerous ways in my head and I can’t come up with anything that can possibly exonerate me.

Let me run them past you just in case: both kids were screaming. Danny was hanging on my legs like a ball and chain. Gracie was bouncing off the walls banging into everyone. The entire family was in the bathroom. And this whole thing was Gordon’s idea to begin with. Nope. These aren’t going to cut it.

So here’s the deal: Last summer, to save money we invested in a home razor kit. Gordon wanted me to start cutting his hair as he was sick of paying salon prices for a very basic haircut with a razor. So for the price of about two haircuts, we invested in a razor complete with the little apron thingy, an instructional video and even a free comb as a bonus!

I have experience in entrusting my hair to someone else. A dear friend colors my hair. Before she slathered the first dose of 5N on my roots we made a pact that any mistakes or disasters would have no bearing on our friendship. Fortunately because of this precedent, Gordon and I entered into the same pact.

So Sunday afternoon Gordon sat down in the bathroom with the little apron thingy draped over his shoulders. We reviewed the length of the blade attachment that I would be using: 5/8”. Then I proceeded to give him one of the best haircuts I’ve given him to date.

Except…yes there is an “except”…for the first pass up the back of his head. Did I mention that both kids were screaming and Danny was dragging on one of my legs? After the first pass I commented that his hair must have gotten really long because the razor cut off a lot of hair. Then I stared at the razor in horror realizing that I had forgotten to clip on the blade attachment. I had basically cut a swath of hair down to the scalp right up the middle of Gordon’s head. At first it was funny, and then it wasn’t funny at all. Perhaps when the hair grows back it will be funny again.

I told Gordon that from now on I’d have a check-list to make sure everything was in order. He jokingly commented that there would only be one item on the check-list. I Googled “How to fix a bad haircut.” There was talk of returning to the person who cut it in the first place and also one listing for proceeding with a lawsuit.

Luckily, Gordon is a very good sport and he’s still living with us. Or more appropriately I should say, I’m still living with him!

He now owns two hoodie sweatshirts and will be wearing them regularly for the next week or so.

So there you have it – unless any of you can bail me bad – really, really, really bad!